Feathered Friends Merlin $285, 1lb 9oz, 30F
Summary: Feathered Friends has been quietly cranking out some of the market’s finest down bags for over 30 years, and the Merlin is yet another great example of their impeccable craftsmanship. The Merlin comes equipped with a snag-free three-quarter-length zip and a simple one-handed hood closure, which unfortunately lacked a baffle. The Merlin’s Epic shell made it the most weather-resistant bag of the review, without sacrificing breathability. Open side baffles allow the down to be shifted. The Merlin even comes with a waterproof, seam-sealed, drybag-style stuff sack. Claustrophobics should note that this bag was the narrowest in the test, and some buyers may be scared off by sticker shock. Every Feathered Friends bag can be custom ordered with one of four types of shell fabric, as well as options including full-length zippers.
Pros: Epic shell; waterproof stuff sack; snag-free zipper
Cons: Expensive; no hood baffle
Overall grade: A-
Feathered Friends: (206) 292-6292,